Monday, February 21, 2011

Things we protect and things we don't

Here are some things we protect with performance bonds in Maryland:
  • Sewage sludge removal;
  • Hazardous waste removal;
  • State construction projects;
  • New home construction;
And here are some things we don't protect:
  • Home-improvement projects that cost more than $20,000
What's wrong with this picture?

I live in a historic neighborhood in Baltimore City, MD. I love the tree-lined streets, the old, stately homes, and the 'character' found in the plasterwork, wood floors, and details. Yet, this character can be pricey to maintain or to imitate through careful home improvements designed to restore a home to its former glory.

As a former Sierra Club staff member, I know that small changes add up in terms of energy conservation. I do what I can to respect the earth and conserve energy. Yet, environmentally sustainable home-improvement projects are often more expensive in the short-run.

Shouldn't home-owners who choose to stay in cities or embark on green renovations be protected as well as those home-owners who have smaller jobs (who are protected under Maryland's Guaranty Fund)? Shouldn't they be protected in the same way that those who build new homes are? Shouldn't they be protected in the same way that state construction projects are?

If you agree, let your legislator know.

Tomorrow, the House Economic Matters committee will be hearing MCRC's proposals to require contractors to purchase performance bonds for larger jobs; publish the name and license number of contractors so home-owners can make informed decisions, and include stronger consumer protections and disclosures in contracts.

Call or email your legislators and ask them to support HB 362 with amendments.


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